IBJOpinion

DINING: Taking a break from ordinary bar offerings in Broad Ripple

Sabbatical

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Dining - A&E

The location, overlooking the main drag in Broad Ripple, may be familiar. So, too, may be the patio dwellers packing the place on weekend nights. But there are definite changes at Sabbatical (921 Broad Ripple Ave., 253-5252), the latest libation purveyor taking the spot where La Jolla once held steady. That was a restaurant people talked about a lot more for its populous deck than for its cuisine, something Sabbatical is trying to change.

ae-mainsabbatical06-15col.jpg Sliders come stuffed at Sabbatical. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Oh, the deck is still there. And the service remains laid-back and friendly. But there’s been a concentrated effort to bump up the menu, demonstrating ambition if not always the ideal execution.

Take, for instance, the S’Mocha Pepper Brisket ($8) and the Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork ($8). In each, the innards were fine. The former featured slow-cooked beef brisket rubbed with coffee, Mexican chocolate, crushed black peppercorn and spices and finished with a bit of portabella cream sauce. Bring on a bowl of that.

Unfortunately, I didn’t opt for the simple slider option. My brisket was served in fried wonton tulips. The crunchy fried cups not only were difficult to manage, but also fought with the flavor of the meat and its adornments. The same issue was multiplied with the pulled pork, in which the alcohol in the tequila seemed not-quite cooked off (yes!) but the cups and a fried onion garnish trivialized the dish.

More successful was the Red Pepper and Bean Dip ($7), with uncomplicated veggies and triangles of nan for dipping into the cheese-covered puree of roasted red pepper, garlic and kidney bean. I could have dipped all night.

The Stuffed Portabella ($9) included diced vegetables and Cajun remoulade topped with melted cheese and fresh herbs. The toppings were a bit soupy, but overall it would make an acceptable vegetarian choice.

For dessert, the kitchen seemed to be working too hard to detail the Banana Bread Cookies ($7) when more attention should have been paid to simply baking them to a more satisfying, less-doughy consistency. Better was the Fudge Cake ($7), a gluten-free concoction that was actually quite tasty, especially when served hot. As in piping hot.

Of course, one may legitimately ask how much if any of that matters when you are gabbing and noshing and people-watching over St. Germain French Gimlets and Apple-spiced Hot Toddys. (Yes, the drink menu has changed, too.)•

—Lou Harry

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Last in a month-long series of food-and-a-drink eatery reviews.
 

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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